The Rhizome Digest merged into the Rhizome News in November 2008. These pages serve as an archive for 6-years worth of discussions and happenings from when the Digest was simply a plain-text, weekly email.

Subject: RHIZOME DIGEST: 8.22.07
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 16:39:14 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: August 22, 2007


1. Chris Joseph: Machinima call for submissions - deadline 1 September 2007
2. Static: Call for submissions. Static: ALARM
4. cstefanis AT Call for Submissions. Take a deep breath conference - Tate Modern - London Consortium - 15-17 November 2007

5. sarah.turner AT Urban Screens Manchester (UK) conference & arts programme

6. Dirk Vekemans: CELLULAR WRYTING
7. sommerlucia AT PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY: New screenings of Strange Culture - doc about artist accused of
8. Hot to Bot
9. marc garrett: Welcome to a new Furtherfield...

10. Domenico Quaranta: I want to generate a dynamic setting. Interview with Rosina Gómez-Baeza
11. Evelin Stermitz: Interview with Nina Sobell

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From: Chris Joseph <cjoseph AT>
Date: Aug 16, 2007
Subject: Machinima call for submissions - deadline 1 September 2007

The First European Machinima Festival is organised by the Institute of Creative Technologies at De Montfort University and the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences, and takes place at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, 12-14 October 2007.

For more information about submitting your work to the awards categories and the programme visit

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The UK Northern Way Virtual Gateway Commission

The Northern Way, working with Arts Council England to deliver the £10m ‘Welcome to the North’ public art programme, wishes to commission a truly innovative and or original virtual artwork ‘Gateway to the North’.

Tenders are invited from organisations seeking to work with a named artist(s), individual artists or collaborating artists for this major commission. The emphasis of this new commission will be on its virtual long-term presence, although it can also include physical manifestations that make a link between the real and virtual, and is open to a range of artforms and media including: sound, software art, blogging, performance and events, online worlds and mapping systems eg Second Life, GoogleEarth. The proposals will need to include a web-based accessible platform and applicants are also welcome to consider the use of a number of other distribution and presentation platforms such as podcasts and videocasts; CD and DVD; mobile phones and locative media.The commission will: make connections across the three Northern regions; reference and conceptualise the North through its geographical, social, cultural and economic landscapes;provide an opportunity for all users to engage with the commission; provide a platform which is accessible to local, regional, national and international audiences; represent or consider the North in all its diversity. The proposal will also need to include a detailed education programme, evaluation programme and PR/marketing. The commission must be completed no later than the end of March 2008. The commission is open to artists in the UK and beyond. Full details and specifications are available from: Kath Savage on 01924 486 212 or kath.savage AT The closing date for applications is 14 September 2007, 12 noon. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview to present their proposals. The Northern Way a unique collaboration of regions and cities from across the North of England, led by the three Northern Regional Development Agencies: Yorkshire Forward, Northwest Regional Development Agency and One NorthEast. This is a 20 year strategy to transform the economy of the North of England. Success will be determined by the bridging of a £30 billion output gap betwe!
en the N
rth and the average for England. More information about Arts Council England and the Northern Way can be found at and

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From: Static <static6_alarm AT>
Date: Aug 16, 2007
Subject: Call for submissions. Static: ALARM

A little alarm now and then keeps life from stagnation.
- Fanny Burney, Camilla (1796)

The London Consortium invites contributions for the sixth issue of Static (to be published in December 2007), on the theme of ALARM.

Static: ALARM is devoted to the sound, the signal, and the response: the ways in which sounds have triggered gatherings and scatterings; the connections between signs and dangers real and imagined. As the rolling “r” of “alarum” has slackened to the lulling sound of “alarm”, the ringing of alarms has become part of our aural wallpaper. Alarm is hard-wired into us – but has the constant clanging and wailing of alarms, the repeated sounding of “wake-up calls”, induced a collective state of numbing tinnitus?

We welcome all kinds of contributions, and are particularly keen to include sound art, which will be published online. Please contact the editors at static6_alarm AT to discuss the format and other technical details before submitting your work.

Submission guidelines and further information about Static can be found on the website: The deadline for submissions is Monday 1st October 2007.

The editors of Static: ALARM are Thomas Mansell, Richard Osborne, and Katherine Hunt.

The London Consortium is a unique collaboration between the Architectural Association, Birkbeck College (University of London), the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Science Museum, and TATE. It offers challenging, rigorous postgraduate programmes in the Humanities and Cultural Studies. Static, the Consortium’s online journal, presents contributions from an international team of academics, artists and cultural practitioners.

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From: Marisa Olson <marisa AT>
Date: Aug 16, 2007

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Oliver Grau <oliver.grau AT>
Date: Aug 16, 2007 7:51 AM


Second international conference on Image Science in Goettweig
April 24th - 26th 2008

The DEPARTMENT FOR IMAGE SCIENCE (DIS) at DANUBE UNIVERSITY is pleased to announce the second international Goettweig conference on Image Science.

Never before has the world of images changed so fast, have we been exposed to so many different image forms and never before has the way images are produced transformed so drastically. Images are advancing into new domains: Television became a global zapping field of thousands of channels; projection screens enter our cities, and cell phones transmit micromovies in real time. We are witnessing the rise of the image into a virtual spatial image. Science, politics and entertainment profit from new dimensions in the creation of images and their emotive effects. Since the 60s, arts and sciences are connected in the fundamental research media art undertakes, whose roots lie in partially unknown traditions.

A multitude of new possibilities in producing, projecting and distributing individual images has led to the formation of new image genres. The spiral movement of image history from innovation, understanding and iconoclasm results in the 21st Century in a global interweaving. These major transformations have hit society to a large extent unprepared and as we gradually start to recognize the demand to address the current knowledge explosion appropriately, we face the challenge to expand our forms of visualization, our "orders and systems of visibility", and to reflect critically and scientifically on them. While our written culture has produced a differentiated and dedicated paedagogy, our society still lacks a conscious education concerning images - up to a degree that we can speak of visual illiteracy.

A central problem of current cultural policy, aside from poor knowledge on image procedures, stems from serious lack of knowledge about the origins of the audiovisual media. This stands in complete contradistinction to current demands for more media and image competence. The conference therefore explores the thinking space and the utopias, which were initiated by artists again and again - now on the expanded terrain of image science - and searches for the inspirations these new worlds receive from the arts. What influence does the medium have on the iconic character of the image? What chances and challenges do museums and image dealers face with the "liquidity" of the image?

The interdisciplinary conference aims to step up to the challenge of building a "visual inventory". One goal of the Conference therefore is to build cross disciplinary exchange between the Humanities AND the Natural Sciences.

PROPOSALS are welcome to the following topics and fields:

(New visualization techniques in Nano-, Bio-, Neurosciences, Architecture, Photography, Digital Collections Management, etc.)

(in the Arts, Sciences and Humanities, Politics, Advertising, Comics, Diagrams & Models, Visual Music, etc.)

(Global economy, Tagging, Micromovies, Flickr, Second Life, You Tube, Google Earth etc.)

DEADLINE PROPOSALS : October 21st 2007
Conference Languages: German/English.

One-page abstract or complete paper must be submitted by email. Upon acceptance, complete papers must be submitted by March 21, 2008 as PDF to andrea.kaufmann AT All rights will remain with the author. Papers will be selected for presentations. Proposals for panel discussions are encouraged and individual papers may be grouped by the Department for Image Science in panel discussion format. Panel proposals should include names of prospective panelists and topics, which should address the general themes of the symposium.

The DEPARTMENT FOR IMAGE SCIENCE is situated near Vienna in the UNESCO World Heritage Wachau, in the Goettweig Monastery. The DIS is housed in part of the fourteenth century castle. It is the platform for the international projects: Database of Virtual Art, Goettweig Database of the Graphic Print Collection,


* DIS * * *

Carl, AIGNER (St. Pölten), Roy ASCOTT (Plymouth), Sean CUBITT (Melbourne), Brigitte FELDERER (Wien), Felice FRANKEL (Boston), Beryl GRAHAM (Newcastle), Erkki HUHTAMO (Los Angeles), Douglas KAHN (Davis/California), Martin KEMP (Oxford), Harald KRÄMER (Bern), Machiko KUSAHARA (Tokyo), Jorge LAFERLA (Buenos Aires), Timothy LENIOR (Duke), Gunalan NADARAJAN (Penn State), Christiane PAUL (New York), Götz POCHAT (Graz), Martin ROTH (Dresden), Wolf SINGER (Frankfurt), Christa SOMMERER (Linz), Paul THOMAS (Western Australia), Wolfgang WELSCH (Jena), STEVE WILSON (San Francisco)

* * *

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Organizational memberships with Rhizome

Sign your library, university or organization up for a Rhizome organizational membership! Give your community access to the largest online archives of digital art and new media art-related writing, the opportunity to organize member-curated exhibitions, participate in critical discussion, community boards, and learn about residency, educational and professional possibilities. Rhizome also offers subsidized memberships for qualifying institutions with limited access to the Internet. Please visit for more information or contact sales AT

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From: cstefanis AT <cstefanis AT>
Date: Aug 22, 2007
Subject: Call for Submissions. Take a deep breath conference - Tate Modern - London Consortium - 15-17 November 2007

Take a deep breath

A conference at Tate Modern, London
15 - 17 November 2007

Call for Submissions

Deadline for submissions: 10 September 2007

Breathing is a vital practice, yet most of us hardly ever think of the
process. Recent environmental and ethical developments are calling for a rethinking of the value of breath and its manifestations in culture and beyond.

Take a deep breath is an interdisciplinary conference on the social,
cultural and scientific ramifications of breathing. It will explore the influence of breath on the work of various theorists and practitioners and encourage a critical discussion by featuring talks, visual art projects, performances, film screenings, and musical events.

We would like to invite contributions from a wide range of disciplines, including: visual and performing arts, literature, architecture, music, philosophy, theology, biomedical and environmental sciences and sports. Participants are encouraged to submit contributions exploring the following themes:

Visible/Invisible Respiration: There is general agreement that it can be heard and smelt, yet why is it taken for granted that respiration is an invisible manifestation of our being alive? Artists have often explored this paradox. What lies in this tension between the visible and the invisible breath?

Contaminating Breath: The exhaled breath brings out in the world an
amalgam of volatile components ranging from vital oxygen to poisonous
carbon dioxide. Breathing is vital, yet it can also be fatal. To breathe upon is potentially to infect or contaminate.

Hold It Exercise It Manipulate It: Breathing can be subjected to active and passive forms of control. What are the ways with which we control and manipulate our breath? Does the loss of breath result in the loss of control, or perhaps is it the other way round?

Beyond Breath: Can we think of breathing beyond its principal corporeal function? Breath as pneuma and psyche has always been of great significance to psychology, psychiatry, philosophy and religion. What are the effects of euphoria and phobias, panic attacks or asphyxia? Is there life after breath?

Keynote speakers include:

Professor Steven Connor (Birkbeck College/ London Consortium)
Professor Howard Caygill (Goldsmiths College)
Mark Cousins (Architectural Association/ London Consortium)

Submission guidelines: Paper proposals of 1000-1500 words outlining a 20 minutes presentation or full papers (max 4500 words) and a curriculum vitae of no more than two pages should be submitted via email by 10 September 2007. Visual or/and sound material should be submitted via email at breath AT or as DVD/CD copies at the following address:

Take a deep breath
The London Consortium
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)
12 Carlton House Terrace

All papers and presentations will be in English.

Selection and Notification: All contributors will be notified whether their submission has been selected by 20 September 2007.

Dispatch Costs: Contributors are responsible for the costs of sending any visual or sound material. Submissions can only be returned if the applicant provides a self-addressed and stamped envelope.

Duration: Thursday 15 – Saturday 17 of November 2007

Venue: The conference will take place at Tate Modern.

Take a deep breath is organised by Irini Marinaki, Martine Rouleau and
Konstantinos Stefanis in collaboration with The London Consortium and Tate Modern.

The London Consortium is a unique collaboration between the Architectural Association, Birkbeck College, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, TATE and the Science Museum. We offer challenging, rigorous postgraduate programmes in the Humanities and Cultural Studies leading to a Master of Research (MRes) or PhD degree in Humanities and Cultural Studies from the University of London.
For more information visit:

For further information please do not hesitate to contact us by email at breath AT

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From: sarah.turner AT <sarah.turner AT>
Date: Aug 17, 2007
Subject: Urban Screens Manchester (UK) conference & arts programme

Urban Screens Manchester 07

It’s about content!

Manchester Conference: 11 + 12 October 2007
Public arts + events programme: 11 - 14 October 2007

Urban Screens Manchester 07 is a two day international conference taking place at the Cornerhouse, Manchester‘s international centre for contemporary visual arts and film.

>From a multitude of perspectives, Urban Screens Manchester 07 explores the conditions for urban screens and their place in contemporary society, making it relevant across disciplines to media specialists, designers, artists, architects, urban planners, broadcasters and public art funders.

Following on from the first groundbreaking conference on urban screens, Urban Screens 2005, Amsterdam, the conference will feature more than 40 inspirational experts on the global phenomenon set to transform our cities. Urban Screens Manchester 07 looks in to the creation of content, commissioning / funding, curatorship and the architectural possibilities of urban screens in the 21st century.

Keynote speakers

Artist Jochen Gerz
Create a cultural city

German born, French based artist and cultural commentator, Jochen Gerz, will talk about the role of art in public space and public space culture. In his keynote, Gerz powerfully advocates for a reconnection with the essence of public and the city space – its people. Gerz argues that art and public space culture can support democracy and give voice to all in society, and that urban media such as urban screens have – potentially – an important role to play in this process of debate and discussion.

Media archaeologist Erkki Huhtamo
Urban Gigantology, or Archaeology of the Urban Screen
The renowned media archaeologist Erkki Huhtamo is asking if urban screens have a longer heritage than we imagine. In his stimulating keynote, he will give a wide ranging overview of historic public media and events. Running along a timeline that takes in past, present and futures, Huhtamo will take us a journey through son et lumière, magic lanterns, sky signs created by hot air balloons, light cannons and airplanes and the billboard to better understand our ‘society of spectacle’. He will explain that we need to see contemporary urban screens in a long history, but also that they are idiosyncratic media platforms that offer a new viewing experience, giving new modes of interaction in the urban environment.

View the conference timeline and a listing of the international experts attending at:

The conference is accompanied by a dynamic programme of public events that show creative content in action in city centre Manchester. The centre will come alive with an exciting range of international art works on public screens ranging from mobile projection, VJ sets, live streaming, video and animation programmes and audiovisual performances.

Register your interest now at

Urban Screens Manchester has been curated by Dr Susanne Jaschko .
Urban Screens Manchester has been supported by Cornerhouse and BBC.
It has been funded by Arts Council England, Manchester City Council, Marketing Manchester. With support from MDDA and Manchester Knowledge Capital.

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Rhizome Commissions Program

Rhizome 2008 Commissions Announced!
This year, eleven emerging artists/ collectives were awarded commissions in support of new works of Internet-based art. The projects include distributed sound experiments, visually compelling interactive images that blend the sublime and the ridiculous, and pioneering applications that encourage the flowering of creativity across commercial areas of the web. Follow the link below for descriptions of and links to the eleven winning proposals, which also includes our first-ever Community Award, a project designed to enhance participation and communication on Rhizome.

The Rhizome Commissions Program is made possible by support from the Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial, the Greenwall Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support has been provided by members of the Rhizome community.

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From: Dirk Vekemans <dv AT>
Date: Aug 18, 2007


is a continuing non-edited, non-supervised flow of writing in the Public Domain on one subject: the Cell Phone or Mobile Phone. It's an experiment in minimal collaborative writing using public software.

It is called Cellular Writing because it is about cell phones and because it started off in the WVU Wryting-L mailing-list on writing and theory of writing, as a discussion on the subject.

It is on Cell Phones because it is called Cellular Wryting.

>From there it came to you, now, and you can do some cellular writing too.

Here's the INIT:

. There's a collage of sorts of fragments and pomes at
(WVU WRYTERS: please mail me backchannel for suggestions/corrections/removals/whatever)

. there's a blog at that you can contribute to just by sending e-mail to it, see for how that works

. writing can be anything. Text, poems, movies, sounds, whatever. Up here, it's all just code anyway. So you can send in anything that gets through the Blogger interface. Most of the time, I'd prefer your things to be beautiful, interesting, well crafted and above all, poetical, but who am i?

. you can use the blog's contents as an RSS feed on your own websites/blogs, there's a code snippet at the end of this mail that you can use for that purpose, or you can 'Burn' and customize your own feed at
(yep that's bought by our lovely EGOLOG too). The Cathedral file's just an example of how to do that, encouraging you to do that, so why don't you do that.

. please edit this text as you see fit and sent it out to where and whom you see fit.
Whatever you do, do not post the email address of the blog to a public file. The spam might stop the flow, then, and there's no reason for that to happen, is there?

Let there be writing.

dv AT Neue Kathedrale des erotischen Elends

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From: sommerlucia AT <sommerlucia AT>
Date: Aug 20, 2007
Subject: PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY: New screenings of Strange Culture - doc about artist accused of


Don't miss these upcoming screenings of Lynn Hershman Leeson's critically-acclaimed Strange Culture (, which chronicles the ongoing story of artist Steven Kurtz and scientist Robert Ferrell, accused by the US government in 2004 of "bioterrorism" and now awaiting trial:

Aug 17-23
Buenos Aires
2nd Human Rights Watch International Film Festival

August 21-23
Albuquerque NM
The Guild Cinema

Aug 24-30
Chicago IL
Facets Cinema

Aug 29-30
Northampton MA
Maine Street Media Festival

Sept 8
St. Louis MI
Global Fusion Conference
Q&A with Lucia Sommer

Sept 8
Buffalo NY
Hallwalls & Market Arcade Benefit Screening
Market Arcade Film & Arts Center
Discussion with Steve Kurtz

Sept 7-13
Buffalo NY
Market Arcade

Sept 16-20
Pittsburgh PA
Regent Square Cinema

Sept 14-19
Seattle WA
NW Film Forum

Sept 21-27
San Raphael CA
California Film Institute

Sept 21-27
San Francisco CA
The Roxie Theatre

Sept - TBA
Waterville ME
Railroad Square Cinema

Sept / Oct - TBA
Oklahoma City
Museum of Art

Oct 1
New York NY
Q&A with Lynn Hershman Leeson & Steve Kurtz

Oct 5-18
New York NY
Cinema Village
Q&A with Lynn Hershman Leeson & Steve Kurtz

Oct 10-14
Woodstock NY
Woodstock Film Festival

Nov 8
Philadelphia PA
First Person Arts
Q&A with Lucia Sommer

Nov 8
Location TBA
First Person Festival of Memoir & Documentary Art

Nov 22
A Space Gallery
Reception with Steve Kurtz

Los Angeles CA
Laemmle Theatres

Strange Culture (2007, 75min) chronicles the surreal nightmare of Steven Kurtz, an art professor at SUNY Buffalo and a founding member, with his late wife, Hope, of the internationally exhibited art and theater collective Critical Art Ensemble (CAE). In May 2004 the Kurtzes were preparing to present Free Range Grain, a project examining GM agriculture, at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), when Hope Kurtz died of heart failure. Police who responded to Steve Kurtz's 911 call deemed the couple's art suspicious, and called the FBI. Within hours the artist was illegally detained as a suspected "bioterrorist" as dozens of federal agents in Hazmat suits sifted through his work and impounded his computers, manuscripts, books, his cat, and even his wife's body. Today Kurtz and long-time collaborator Dr. Robert Ferrell, Professor of Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, face trumped-up charges of 'mail fraud' and 'wire fraud,' punishable, thanks to the PATRIOT Act, by up to 20 years in prison. For more information about the case please visit:

Since the ongoing nature of the case prevents Kurtz from discussing its details, Hershman Leeson has enlisted actors to dramatize parts of the story, skillfully interweaving dialogue with news footage, animation, interviews, testimonials, and footage of Kurtz himself. Tilda Swinton (Chronicles of Narnia, Broken Flowers) and Thomas Jay Ryan (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) play Hope and Steve Kurtz, and Peter Coyote (E.T., Erin Brockovich) plays Dr. Robert Ferrell.

'Strange Culture is an important heads-up to what is going on in our country right now in the name of national security, and a brilliant statement on artistic freedom and the dangers it faces. This film should be seen, should be discussed and is an important document on our times.' --Film Threat

'Strange Culture is a veteran artist's thoughtful, indignant response to Patriot Act America.' --indieWIRE

'You don't have to be paranoid for Strange Culture to scare the hell out of you.' --Reuters

For more information:

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From: <nemeorg AT>
Date: Aug 20, 2007
Subject: Hot to Bot

Following our publication of "Tele-Agency: Telematics, Telerobotics, and the Art of Meaning" by Edward A. Shanken four months ago on we are pleased to announce a second text by the same author: "Hot to Bot:Pygmalion's Lust, the Maharal's Fear, and the Cyborg Future of Art".

Shanken writes:

"The idea that non-living matter could be used to invoke, influence, and emulate living beings is probably as old as human life itself. Over thousands of years this concept has become deeply ingrained in the human imagination as a locus of desires and fears about the future; and about the role of art and technology in forming it. In reviewing some of this history, I shall focus on, for lack of a better term, the moral of the story; in other words, what prevailing attitudes towards robots and other surrogate beings at a certain place and time tell us about the values of that culture. This background sets the stage for a similar consideration of robots with regard to contemporary morals, mythologies, and values, as they relate to the production of robots and artificial life forms by artists. Norman White has written that, "For me, Art comes alive only when it provides a framework for asking questions." The intersecting histories of art and automata offer a fertile context for people like White to frame interesting questions and make art come alive - and come alive in a sense that arguably extends beyond the merely metaphorical. Moreover, I believe that the sorts of questions that artists ask about surrogate beings offer particularly valuable insights into contemporary perceptions of the human condition vis-à-vis the cyborgian condition of our artificial siblings, and the increasingly hybrid conditions of what social critics from Katherine Hayles to Marilyn Manson have termed the posthuman."

The complete text can be found on

As always, texts are open to commenting.


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From: marc garrett <marc.garrett AT>
Date: Aug 22, 2007
Subject: Welcome to a new Furtherfield...

Welcome to a new Furtherfield...

We are pleased to announce a new Furtherfield with the creation, design and technical development of a dynamic content management system (CMS). We invite our ever-increasing users, audiences, practitioners, and digitally, cross and poly-culturally focused explorers to continue with us in the discovery of viewing, researching and sharing contemporary media art.

We invite you come and join us:
Create a new user ID by registering either from the front end of the site or via this link -

New changes/features to Furtherfield include:

- All reviews/interviews of artists projects are now tagged from the front page and through the site, so that users can find related information, either about projects, subjects, artists, groups, interviews, reviewers, genre etc...

- A more comprehensive and user friendly ID card section which include users, artists, reviewers & groups.

- An updated 'Public Broadcast' section for visitors/users to add and promote projects and events.

- Under the 'Public Broadcast' section on the front page we have set up an area where users can recommend their own favourite reviews, artworks, interviews featured on Furtherfield for others to view.

- New sections for easy access to view artists/reviewers and reviews/articles on Furtherfield.

- Updated system so that reviewers are now able to add their own reviews themselves.

- Updated system so that it is easier for artists and groups to update/add new work, projects and material to their personal ID cards on Furtherfield whenever they wish to.

Remember, Furtherfield is still free and everything is accessible and can be linked from outside of the site itself.


Furtherfiield Behaviour Statement:

Furtherfield was founded in London in 1996 and is the collaborative work of artists, programmers, writers, activists, musicians and thinkers who explore beyond traditional remits; dedicated to the creation, promotion, and criticism of adventurous digital/networked media art work for public viewing, experience and interaction. Developing imaginative strategies in a range of digital & terrestrial media contexts, Furtherfield develops global, contributory projects that facilitate art activity simultaneously on the Internet, the streets and public venues.

An artist-led group that utilizes networked media to create, explore, nurture and promote the art that happens when connections are made and knowledge is shared - across the boundaries of established art-world institutions and their markets, grass-roots artistic and activist projects and communities of socially-engaged software developers. This is a spectrum that engages from the maverick media-art-makers and small collectives of cross-specialist practitioners, to projects that critique and change dominant hierarchical structures as part of their art process.

more about us here:

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From: Domenico Quaranta <qrndnc AT>
Date: Aug 21, 2007
Subject: I want to generate a dynamic setting. Interview with Rosina Gómez-Baeza

"I want to generate a dynamic setting." Interview with Rosina Gómez-Baeza
by Domenico Quaranta

It was difficult to be more promising. The LABoral Art and Industrial Creation Centre, opened in March 2007 in Gijon (Asturias), with its rich and gorgeous opening program seems to announce a serious engagement at the intersection of art, design and new technologies. In this short interview, Rosina Gómez-Baeza Tinturé, Director of the Center and former Director of Arco Art Fair, talks about her ambitions.
The interview was conducted via email some weeks ago, while writing an article for Flash Art. In the meantime, LABoral appointed a Chief Curator (Austrian artist and engineer Erich Berger, the former Art Director and Curator of The Interface & Society Project of Oslo) and opened a new show, It's Simply Beautiful.

DQ. LABoral opened in March with two big exhibitions, curated by international curators such as Christiane Paul (Whitney Museum), Jemima Rellie (Tate Gallery), Carl Goodman (Museum of the Moving Image). Why didn't you involve Spanish curators? Are you going to do it in the future? And why don't you have a stable curator?

RG. The LABoral mission is underpinned by diversity and a desire to be a true reflection of a global vision of the emerging trends in the art world and the creative industries. I want to generate a dynamic setting, capable of stimulating interaction between creators, technicians and scientists from different parts of the world. This engagement with the outside world (outside Spain, outside Asturias) had to be made explicit from the inception of our exhibition programming. Thus my choice of our very talented curatorial team. The name of our Chief Curator will be made public at the end of June.

DQ. What's your relation with the territory? Do you want to be a window on the international scene of New Media Art or to help developing a local New Media Art scene (or both)?

RG. Both, naturally. I was actually born here, close to the Universidad Laboral complex which houses our Centre and most of the Universidad de Asturias technical schools plus a technological hub. There is political unanimity in considering the ICT sector as strategic sector for development of the origin. Asturias is also a region particularly focused on encouraging relations between groups of persons from different origins,promoting the exchange of ideas and technologies and the development of art practices based on shared experiences. These particularities of the region are highly conducive to creative vitality and innovation. As a resource centre we will of course also focus on facilitating the necessary resources for local artists.

DQ. The New Media Art world and the Contemporary Art world often act as two parallel lines that never cross. Coming from Arco - the only art fair that opened to New Media Art, by the way - are you trying to make LABoral kind of a bridge between those two worlds?

RG. Why not? This project will provide a platform for an intense and profound dialogue between different forms of artistic expression, providing room for the various disciplines, which must exist in harmony as essential parts of the innovative path through art and creation at the beginning of the 21st century.

DQ. LABoral is an art center, not a museum. Nevertheless, do you have in mind to start a collection of art works?

RG. Setting up a centre dedicated to production, education, exhibition and diffusion of art and technology and the creative industries, is a response to a need expressed by many creators, technicians and producers. The fact that there are no centres for research and experimentation in Spain means that LABoral has a practically unlimited potential. We hope to be able to enrich the current debates. That will be our priority but of course we would like to "anchor" our findings and be able to trace the first technological advances: light, camera, cinema, video, computer, and their use by the artist and industry. A collection that would reflect the work of both pioneers and emerging artists is of course at the back of my head.

DQ. What about your future projects?

RG. During the first phase of the programming at LABoral, we will outline a critical route through our historical-artistic legacy while underscoring the contributions of new technologies. We hope to reflect the truly overwhelming visual culture of the moment. "Emergentes" will open in November. Curated by José-Carlos Mariátegui and coproduced with Fundación Telefónica, it addresses new forms of art in Latin America, mostly from the multidisciplinary research field. Research is indeed one of LABoral's pivotal concerns, backing up exhibition concepts but also paving the way for new exhibitions. I cannot understand the two separately. We are starting our workshops this coming month of July with a very interesting program focusing on videogames from a practical angle, tackling phenomena such as Second Life, 8bit music, modding. In August we have put together our second series of workshops with Hangar, exploring new tools for creators from various perspectives: image, sound and hardware.

DQ. Can you tell me something about the show curated by Peter Doroshenko and Jèrôme Sans that will open at LABoral in July?

RG. "It's Simply Beautiful" rethinks the concept of beauty in today's world. It will have a very different feel to Feedback or LABcyberspaces, as it includes only five artists taking over approximately 3.000 square metres. I believe strongly in producing new work, and not just limiting the role of the institution to borrowing preexisting pieces going from one institution to another. Peter and Jérôme selected four artists from France (Fabien Verschaere), the UK (Mark Titchner), the US (Dzine) and Thailand (Surasi Kusolwong), but also visited local studios and chose to include Carlos Coronas, a very interesting artist born and based in Asturias.

DQ. What's your view on the future of New Media Art? There will be a sustainable market for it?

RG. Today´s art reflects the sea changes taking place in society. I think there is an enormous feeling of optimism in the art world in general and an intense and profound dialogue between different forms of art which certainly encourages and generates a dynamic setting, capable of attracting larger, younger audiences interested in those emerging trends which reflect today´s visual culture. These new art practices appeal to the new audiences, respond to their demands.

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From: Evelin Stermitz <es AT>
Date: Aug 21, 2007
Subject: Interview with Nina Sobell

Interview with Nina Sobell

Nina Sobell pioneered the use of video, computers, and interactivity in art; she also pioneered performance on the Web (in collaboration with Emily Hartzell as ParkBench). In 1975 she installed the "Interactive Encephalographic Brainwave Drawing Installation" at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. Sobell presented "Brainwave Drawings" and "Videophone Voyeur" (1977) at Joseph Beuys' "Free International University" at Documenta 6. She has continued to develop the piece over the years, and is currently working on a piece in which participants will collaborate on Brainwave Drawings internationally, over the Web.

An interview about Nina Sobell’s work in media and new media art
by Evelin Stermitz, August 2007, New York, NY.

ES: What was your first approach to media art?

NS: When I was at Cornell University going to graduate school in Sculpture (1969), I created objects that deconstructed from participants’ interaction with them. Jud Fine said, why don’t you talk to David Shearer, he has video equipment, you could borrow and document this interaction. David Shearer was the librarian for art, architecture and urban planning, he was very helpful giving me access to video equipment. So I worked with the early Sony portapacks and editing equipment. And then after simply documenting the interactions with the objects, I began to think in terms of the video in experience: time, space and memory. I began to think in terms of my works as constructed symbolic pieces, deconstructed through interaction with them. In another words video became an interstitial vehicle, it extended and expanded time and space, which was integral to the sculpture works: both became my first video installation. So I was really interested in creating huge sculptures, that were reduced into tapes. I took six weeks of time as a sculptural space and divided it up into spacial relationships, of people with the objects I made and the documentation of these objects, the recreation of those objects, within the sequencial time period as a video installation demarcating time and experience. So people entered the gallery and found themselves in an area with four monitors (N, S, E, W) and in the center of those four monitors was a physically symbolic representation of what they where seeing: N was the 1st week; E was the 2nd week; S the 3rd week; W the 4th week of the objects they saw. The symbolic representation in the center surrounded by the monitors was a rockable couch, made of different parts of the objects, they were seeing on those monitors. The first week, on the N monitor was the interaction with the Rockable, 12 ft high by 6 ft deep. It looked like an omega, with curves, it was weighted so that it gently rolled 180 degrees if a person was inside and rolled over. It was made of overlapped aluminum arc!
hes, lea
weights, band iron and padding and was placed outside. I did not want anyone to know why it was there. I wanted it to be discovered, played and experimented with. I wanted the preciousness and purpose removed from the art object, no art objective in the art object. It was positioned behind the museum’s open grassy area at the White Museum, Cornell. On the following Tuesday in the foyer of the museum, I installed the Movable Ceiling: a raised convex couch that people could climb on and a concave ceiling with foam rubber appendages and a remote control. The remote control had 35 ft of cable and two unlabled buttons. Participants experimented with its variable speed and reverse functions, having the ceiling come down into the convex couch. It was based on an elevator block and tackle system. Some people lay there with no expectations and maybe somebody remotely controlled it from another room and again there was no indentification with who made the art work. I documented this interaction until the next Tuesday. Again there was discovery and play in a non-expective situation. The following Tuesday I placed five 10 ft diameter wooden cones, four of them were faced inwards, one out to the sunset on the quad. Again there was no identification of the artist and in the papers they appeared as an architectural student’s work. People climbed, stacked or rolled around in them. The following fourth Tuesday I released 500 white balloons on the same quad at 6 am and then at noon I released 500 more. It was the dematerialisation of the object transposed into video experience. The following week, the fifth Tuesday I edited the tapes for the monitors for the gallery space. The sixth Tuesday was the gallery opening and the re-creation of objects within a sequential time period. In the space people experienced the installation about the past with others or individual experiences, bringing the past to the present time. A six second time lapse monitor documented visitors coming from the four monitors to present time and !
at the e
it a closed circuit monitor represented the immediate moment.

ES: How was the situation for a female student at your university and what were your first experiences as a woman in media art?

NS: I had not been directly admitted to the sculpture department. I received a call from the chairman of Cornell and was encouraged to accept an offer by Jason Seley the chairman of the art department to accept a third floor painting studio because the sculpture department did not want to have a woman in the sculpture department. As it happened, a visiting artist David Von Schlegell from Yale was very supportive of my work, Jud Fine had graduated and left me the key to his sculpture studio, and they all said just go in and ignore the head of the sculpture department and continue working. The sculpture department did not want to give me a teaching assistantship because I was a woman. I was encouraged by David Shearer, the librarian of Art, Architecture and Urban Planning, who instructed students how to use video equipment. My thesis was idiosyncratically video, in fact the first video thesis, but the sculpture professors at Cornell did not understand my concepts. Then I moved to Los Angeles and was part of the very new video art scene, worked on my own works and shared the equipment with another graduate from Cornell.

ES: What are the main themes in your video works, what did you like to explore?

NS: I made a transition from public installations, time, space, memory, deconstruction and a conceptualized approach to being alone in my studio; getting used to my private space, intimacy with my environment, interaction with objects, and then focusing the camera on myself. I did not know that this was performance art; I just let myself do spontaneous actions. Working through the drawing process, physicalizing it, documenting it, really getting inside to that time that video is capable of capturing - that immediate moment, breaking glass with no eye protection, all that could not be rehearsed, not to be re-recorded again, that was purely video performance, but I was not aware of it at that time.

ES: Could you tell more about your brain wave drawings project?

NS: A friend visited my studio with an audio-alpha wave monitor that made a sound when one emitted alpha waves. I realized that I as a human being am an electronic medium. Since the human being is an electronic medium, and since I was working with video as an electronic medium, I saw the possibility of visualizing communication. Most especially the singular existential moment of perception between two people. How could I express the communication of that thought process with another human being? By creating a physical and mental portrait of the non-verbal communication between people involves their ego and identity. That’s the place where art is, in itself art is the drawing of communication processes. I was introduced to Michael Trivich by my Cornell engineer collaborators and we are still collaborating on this work more than 35 years later. He suggested using an oscilloscope to visualize the communication between two people. By simultaneously having one person’s brain waves on the X axis and the other on the Y axis a lissajous pattern is formed. A lissajous pattern is an irregular circular configuaration; when both participants emit the same brain wave (amplitude and frequency), a circle is formed. If one person is more distracted than the other or emitting another brain wave, the circle will distort horizontally or vertically. Finally after working on it for thousands of thousands hours, and now with a patent pending, we were able to make a brain wave drawing over the web between Poland and Los Angeles on July 17, 2007. Although there is a nine hour time difference, we could see each others physical image, color-keyed brainwave output, and text message, all in web-time. My idea is creating a non-verbal intimacy in cyberspace, one world one time. In the past brain wave drawings one heard the song of two, and now joyously, listening to a universal song of our mind and heartbeat.

ES: How do you view your own body connected to the media?

NS: By capturing ones physical image in video, one is able to capture the essence of ones ego and observe the unmitigated relationship to ones physical behaviour and mental responses to it.

ES: In which context do you see your performance works?

NS: Psychosociological behavioural works.

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Rhizome Digest is supported by grants from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Marisa Olson (marisa AT ISSN: 1525-9110. Volume 12, number 33. Article submissions to list AT are encouraged. Submissions should relate to the theme of new media art and be less than 1500 words. For information on advertising in Rhizome Digest, please contact info AT

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